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'We're 16th Circuit strong': Drexel Mack's friends, co-workers reminisce on their time together

judge otto speaks about drexel .jpg
Posted at 5:51 PM, Mar 11, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In addition to family being honored at Monday’s ceremony for Drexel Mack, his extended family of co-workers were also recognized for their service.

The 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County hosted a memorial ceremony Monday morning to honor Mack, a civil process server, who was killed while serving an eviction notice in Independence, Missouri, on Feb. 29.

Mack’s extended family of county employees was honored with pins with his name on them.

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Beyond this tangible reminder of his service, they also have memories.

“He called me brother; he gave me a hug before we took that long walk together,” said Jeremy McCoy, Mack’s civil process server partner.

McCoy gave remarks on behalf of the process servers who worked with Mack, and he also delivered the update to his colleagues the day he died.

“When Jeremy got on the radio, he called out 'shots fired, officer down,'"Chris Mackey, who also worked with Mack as a deputy court officer for the 16th Judicial Circuit Court, said tearfully.

The news has since spread since then, but it’s still hitting close to home for employees like Gloria Gines.

She works for the county as a Juvenile Courthouse Employee with Mack’s fiancee.

“It was a bittersweet occasion, but it was a great feeling to know there was so much love here for Mr. Mack and Officer Allen,” Gines said.

Mackey says as an office, processing what’s happened has been a collective yet difficult process.

“It’s been a really hard week and a half for all of us,” Mackey said. “You know, we came in on Friday, and we came together as an office, and we grieved, we hugged, and we cried it out, and just try to find the strength to move forward.”

It’s a job that’s not usually in the limelight.

“After today, the work of the court will recede into the shadows as it always has,” Judge Jalilah Otto, presiding judge for Jackson County 16th Circuit Court, said. “You’ve heard of Kansas City strong, right? We’re 16th circuit strong.”

Otto celebrated the resilience required to do a job as a public servant, something Gines knows well.

“Everything that we do, we take it very, very seriously,” Gines said.

Mackey agrees the work they do is serious, but impactful.

“People need to know — we may work for the court behind the scenes serving papers, but it means so much more than a piece of paper,” Mackey said.

This day was a chance to look back, but at the same time, the job requires workers like Mackey and Gines to keep moving forward.

“Keep on keeping’ on and come back into work everyday and put on this uniform, put on our duty belts, and we go to work,” Mackey said.